Page:Romance of History, Mexico.djvu/297

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


CHAPTER XXVI

THE LAST STAND

"YOU are the children of the Sun!" cried an Aztec chief to Cortés and his cavaliers as they approached the barricade he was defending, "but the Sun is swift in his course. Why are you then so tardy? Why delay so long to put an end to our miseries? Rather kill us at once that we may go to our god Huitzilopotchli, who waits for us in heaven to give us rest from our sufferings." Wan and despairing were the faces of the cacique and his followers, and their eyes were wild with hunger and pain.

In pitying tones the conqueror replied, "I do not desire your death, but your submission. Why does your master refuse to treat with me when a single hour will suffice for me to crush him and all his people? Go bid him confer with me at noon in the market-place to-morrow."

At the appointed time Cortés awaited the coming of the emperor. But four caciques came without their lord, who would not consent to a conference. They were offered food which they ate ravenously, and then the general sent them back to Guatemozin

267